I dreamt I was trying to squeeze out a pimple on my forehead.
and more and more 'stuff' came out. I was thinking that it looked like the paste my grandma uses when she makes fishcake when it dawned on me that it didn't look like the 'stuff' that usually came out when I squeezed my pimples. Then the horrifying realization hit.
I had been squeezing my brain out.
I don't know what's more horrifying; that I was squeezing out my brain and felt no pain or that my brain looks like fishcake paste.
When we say, "I'm Methodist" or "I'm AOG (Assembly of God)," what exactly do we mean?
Can the AOG and the COE (Church of England) ever meet eye to eye?
I'll use my own church-going history as an example. I was born into a local evangelical church. Now that in itself is confusing isn't it? Aren't all churches meant to be evangelical? As far as I recall, Jesus didn't say, "You AOG, go make disciples" or "Hey Catholics, you're exempted from telling people about me." Further, my home church runs under a system of elders and deacons which sounds a bit Presbyterian to me and they don't baptise infants but does it mean I'm a Baptist? A Baptist, Presbyterian Evangelical. Gosh.
Anyway, I was part of an 'evangelical' church until I went over to London and got the biggest church culture shock of my life. I really thought the whole COE (Church of England) wasn't Christian because they weren't as exuberant in their singing or in expressing themselves. Maybe it was because I went to the UK instead of the States or Australia. The British bring their stiff upper lip into church as well... and that's fine... but it wasn't fine to me, not at that point in time anyway; I've since seen the error of my ways :p
So, after 5 years in a COE setting of modern hymns and academic Bible preaching, I get shifted back to Malaysia where I join an Anglican church. The last time I was in Malaysia before I went off to UK, Anglican used to be synonymous with the Protestant version of Catholic (think tradition, incense and an old man in funny clothes). However, it was recommended by a friend who was as concerned about getting solid and faithful Bible teaching as I was and he wasn't wrong.
I have spent 2 years in the same Anglican church. But it's not just Anglican, it's evangelical. And although it's not Baptist, infant baptism is optional and yes we have a bishopric but there's also a council and we hold general meetings. So what am I now? An Episcopal-Presbyterian, Anglican-Baptist Evangelical? The next thing you know I'll end up Protestant-Catholic :s
These days when people ask me what I am with regards to my religion, I pause for a very long while and then slowly say that I'm Christian. I think that's all people need to know. If that's not enough, they're not really interested in who I worship but who I hang with. There're no different brands of Christianity out there to choose from. There's no such thing as Holy Spirit Christianity or Academic Christianity or Charismatic Christianity or Bishop Christianity. There's just one brand; Jesus Christ.
If your brand is Jesus Christ through and through, it doesn't matter what material you use. If Jesus Christ is merely a director on the board whose opinions are consulted now and then and can be vetoed, (Sorry Jesus, you're wrong on that issue. We think you're 2,000 years behind) then your brand isn't Jesus Christ no matter how attractive or unattractive your programme and religious super star line-up is or how much money you've raised in tithing or how many countries you've sent the Gospel to. I say 'unattractive' because some are of the opinion that to be Christian means to be sombre and melancholic and wallowing in awareness of sin without grace.
The Charismatics can learn how to be devoted like the Catholics. The Catholics can learn how to place the Word of God as a Christian's highest authority like certain Evangelical groups. The Evangelicals can learn how to be more zealous like the AOGs. The AOGs can learn how to practice the quiet assurance of faithful COEs. The COEs can learn how to take God out of the academic box and experience His power, not just read about it.
I haven't been getting enough restful sleep lately.
Take last night for instance.
I dreamt that the friend I wanted to talk to had just arrived at the airport and was too tired to talk to me.
Then I dreamt that I was on my way to catch a train and was stopped by an annoying lady who grabbed my bag in a most unnecessary way. I tried to tell her that I had paid for my ticket in advance but she would have none of it. I bet she was one of those people who thought she could throw her weight around just because she's insecure. Just as I was about to pull my bag away from her grip and make a dash for the train, I woke up.
Am still cross at lady in my dream and am feeling tired and want my mum's pig's tail soup with sesame oil and extra boiled peanuts.
I dreamt I missed my flight home for Christmas because I was greedy.
Firstly, I wanted to have more pastry than a friend who had accompanied me to the bakery. She was piling her tray high so I decided I would pile my tray high too... then came the job of having to finish a mountain of sugar pastry.
I was also frantically grabbing stamps with horse pictures on them from a biscuit tin because Eing wanted them to for whatever reason.
I dream about death a lot. Possibly as an outcome of reading up on John's Gospel, Reformation History and have been influenced by the arrests in Malaysia made in the name of ISA, last night I dreamt that a Tudor-period, Christian, female minister in Malaysia was beheaded because her words were misinterpreted. At her trial, the board actually accepted that they had misinterpreted her words but that for the sake of peace, they had to behead her anyway. Possibly also because I've seen paintings depicting Jane Grey's execution, I dreamt that the minister had to put her head on a large wheel-like platform that looked like the scene set in "Hellboy II: Rise of the Golden Army" with her executioner standing in the middle. When the axe came down, I woke up. By the way, her name was Anne.
It matters less, the frequency, brevity or length of my internal monologue. A word be too much, more often too little, but if anything be said, since we are all exiles in a strange land from every tribe, nation and tongue, have compassion! This race is won not by individuals; neither the first nor the last for those who are ahead will have to wait awhile until the last person in Christ crosses the finish line and the last would not be last unless someone crossed the line before him.
I exist in a stream of consciousness that exists in a magical land of blue dragons and bottomless cliffs baked in the orange glow of a setting sun. Likes chocolate. And horses. A lot. Confused ENTJ-ENTP-INTP-ENFP. Jesus Freak.